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The Impact of Victims’ Imagery On Charity Crowdfunding Campaigns: How Photos of Victims Doing Nothing To Help Themselves Elicit Fewer Donations

G Buskila, D Perez

Journal of Advertising Research 62 (4), 385-396



As fundraising becomes more competitive, charitable organizations increasingly invest in maximizing the effectiveness of their appeals. The current study shows that, all else being equal, a campaign photo portraying victims who do not seem to be engaged in any form of self-help will elicit lower donations compared with a photo that triggers the perception that victims are taking action to address their circumstances. Campaigns may be more successful if they use images that do not show victims rather than images of victims not engaged in self-help.

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